Jolo attack shows terrorists’ opposition to BOL — political scientist

admin   •   January 29, 2019   •   1730

Courtesy: AFP WESTMINCOM

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research chairman, Prof. Rommel Banlaoi thinks that the twin blasts that rocked a Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu is the terrorists’ way of expressing opposition to the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Banlaoi explained that the bombing was thoroughly planned and conducted after the conduct of first BOL referendum held last January 21 in Cotabato City, Isabela in Basilan and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. 

He added that the incident will serve as a challenge to members of the Bangsamoro government since the BOL is envisioned to bring peace and stability in the region.

 “Lumalabas na hindi kinakatakutan ng mga terrorist group kung ano man ang itatayong Bangsamoro government dahil iba ang sinusulong nilang pamahalaan. Ang sinusulong nila ay Islamic State na link sa ISIS,” said Banlaoi.

(It shows that the terrorist group is not afraid of the Bangsamoro government because they are pushing for an ISIS-linked Islamic State.)

Banlaoi also believes that the Abu Sayyaf Group is linked to the bomb attack. Based on their studies, the twin bombing is a signature of a terrorist group that is assisted by international militants.

Banlaoi also pointed out some similarities in the Jolo bombing to the Rizal Day bombing in 2000 and the Valentine’s Day attack in 2005 that were both claimed by the Abu Sayyaf.

 “Yang Abu Sayyaf Group, foreign assisted yan kaya doon nila natutunan ang pagsasagawa ng bomba at yang estilo ng pagatake particularly ang pagta-target sa isang Christian entity,” said the professor.

(The Abu Sayyaf Group is assisted by foreign terrorists from whom they learned bomb-making and the targeting of Christian entities as a style of attack.) — UNTV News & Rescue

4 suspected Abu Sayyaf members arrested in Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 26, 2019

Four suspected members of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were arrested during the joint operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Zamboanga City on Thursday (September 26).

The arrested individuals were identified as Aljiver Habibula, Omar Julaspih, Rody Marail, and Nash Amik who are all from Sulu province and are currently residing at Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.

Recovered from the operation are ingredients for Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

According to the PNP, they have been monitoring the suspects for several days. They also clarified they have not received any threats of bombing in Zamboanga City.

“Batay sa briefing ng ating intelligence division ay wala naman talaga tayong threat tungkol diyan. Hindi rin natin masasabi kung ito ba ay may plano (attack) para sa ating fiesta pilar (Based on the briefing of our intelligence division, there are no threats. We also cannot say if they have a planned attack for our festival),” Police Regional Office 9 Spokesperson PMaj. Helen Galvez said.

However, according to AFP Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas, they received a report last month about the ASG’s plan to bomb various areas in the country.

Encinas said this is a part of ASG’s retaliatory attack because their number continues to decrease.

“Maliit na lang iyan pero mayroon silang kakayahan to conduct IED attacks (They may be small but they still have the capacity to conduct IED attacks),” he warned.

Due to this, he reminded the public to immediately report to the authorities any suspicious individuals in their area.

They can contact the PRO-9 office at 0917 506 2000.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

PNP says no ISIS threat in Bulacan, probes leak of draft memo

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now investigating the leak and circulation online of a draft memorandum stating about the alleged presence of “ISIS affiliates” in Bulacan.

The said document posted on social media states that the Bulacan Provincial Police Office was on full alert status because of threats posed by the terrorist group. It said ISIS-inspired militants from Tuguegarao are moving to Bulacan to attack religious communities in the province.

According to Bulacan provincial police director Chito Barseluna, the document was not official and was not intended for public release.

He added that there was a miscommunication in drafting the memo as this should have been written to alert police units following recent bombings in Mindanao.

Barseluna confirmed that Bulacan police was indeed on full alert but this is because of the celebration of the Singkaban festival in the province.

The police official also denied receiving an intelligence report about the presence of an ISIS-inspired group in the province.

Barseluna also called on the public to stay calm and assured that tight security measures are in place. RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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Bomb signature used in Patikul Bombing, same with what ASG uses – PNP BARMM

Maris Federez   •   August 14, 2019

Authorities secure the area outside a church following a bombing incident at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Jolo last January 27, 2019. (Photo: Armed Forces of the Philippines – Western Mindanao Command)

The Philippine National Police-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PNP-BARMM) office is looking into the possibility that the group of Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan could be the one behind the series of bombings in Sitio Tibongbong, Barangay Igasan in Patikul, Sulu on Tuesday (Aug. 13).

PRO-BARMM director PBGen. Marni Marcos said the bombs used in the bombing at the Jolo Cathedral, at a military camp in Sulu and in Patikul bear the same signature.

Based on the shredded pipe gathered at the bomb site, same type of pipes were used as bomb cylinder.

“Sino ba yung nagpe-perpetrate ng mga ganyang terrorist act in the area? Iisa lang naman yung grupong binabantayan natin [Who else would perpetrate such terrorist acts in the area? There’s only one group that we are monitoring],” said Marcos.

Nevertheless, the police are still conducting a thorough investigation to ascertain whether some groups are copying Sawadjaan’s style.

Gen. Marcos will also meet the local chief executives in Sulu to ask them to encourage their constituents to cooperate with the authorities in their investigation on the said series of bombings.

He added that they will also talk with the Ulama in the area.

“Yung concern natin sa terrorism yung landscape niyan ay nag iba na. Meron na tayong Filipino suicide bomber. And worst is, mga bata o young people yung nire-recruit (What we are concerned about is that the terrorism landscape has already changed.  We now have Filipino suicide bombers. And worst is, they are recruiting the young people),” Marcos said.

“We should involve everybody. Hindi lang military o law enforcement unit ngayon ang inaano natin because it involves yung education, ano yung teaching at ano ba talaga yung tamang ituturo natin sa mga bata [We are not just focusing on military or law enforcement because it also involves education. What are the things that we should really teach the children],” he added.

Meanwhile, PNP chief PGen. Oscar Albayalde has admitted that there is a problem with security in the area and that they need the help and cooperation of the community.

“We have to be alert always.  Very important po ang participation ng community dito. Napaka importante ng impormasyon na ibibigay ng community dito para maubos at matigil na ang insidente na ito sa ating bayan [The community’s participation is very important. The information that the community will provide us is very important in curbing or stopping these incidents in our country],” the PNP chief said.

A member of the 43rd K9 Platoon of the Philippine Army was among the injured in Tuesday’s Patikul bombing. (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

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